San Cristobal's Strawberry Daiquiri

San Cristobal's Strawberry Daiquiri

One of the small capitalist experiments in Cuba is the notion of paladars. As restaurants, like other businesses in Cuba are state-run, you may find the experience and the food to be a bit lackluster. The paladars are supposed to be small, family-run restaurants that operate out of someone's house, but in reality are similar to restaurants in any other country. If you want to have a good dining experience in Cuba, head to the paladares.

The San Cristobal Paladar in Old Havana seems to be routinely ranked as one of the best paladares in Havana. From my own experience, this is a place not to be missed. The home that it operates out of is far less home and far more extravagant, a general feast for the eyeballs. It's definitely high-end dining by Cuban standards.

While the price would be out of reach for ordinary Cubans, for about $40 I had some cocktails, an appetizer, entree and side, along with dessert. All with deliciously well prepared and came out nicely presented with attentive staff. Speaking of staff, this is one of the waiters/servers in the photo. They saw me taking tons of photos of everything and were all too happy to oblige being in one of my photos.

The strawberry daiquiri, if you're not familiar, is a classic cocktail made with rum, citrus and sugar. The drink is believed to have originated in Cuba, which is famous for its rum. When Ernest Hemingway would spend his winters in Cuba, he apparently loved drinking daiquiris. If it's good enough for him, I figured I might as well try one. Well, that's my excuse anyways, but it was well worth giving one a try as they are quite refreshing from the Cuban heat.

Presentation of a cool and refreshing strawberry daiquiri.